For some, the summer months are a time to take things a little bit slower. It’s a time for cottages and weekend getaways. While here at SVG we’ve had plenty of summer fun, it’s been a busy season.

We haven’t checked-in in a while, so here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to:

We spent a lot of time in Niagara

We spent a lot of time in Niagara

 Niagara has been a second home for SVG for quite some time, because long-term client Niagara Casinos keeps us busy year round. This year, that became even more true when we became the agency of record for the Niagara Region economic development team.

By the end of this year, we’ll have produced close to 100 videos for the region. They range from mini-docs about local businesses and people to township spotlights to explainer videos.

These shoots took us all over the region, to national parks, college campuses, farmers’ fields and more than a few wineries. We also spent two days in studio with locals from the region, finding out why they love Niagara.

Shoots like these are great because you really learn a lot about all of the places and people you’re filming. We’ve had crash courses in wine making, car part manufacturing, butchery, you name it.

This project has also really reinforced our long-held belief that for most shoots, less is more. While we love shooting on the Arri Amira, our FS5 comes out with us for a lot of these shoots because of its portability. There have been days where we’ve had to grab shots at 10+ locations. When you’re moving around that much, lightweight options are the way to go. We’ve made the best of natural light in most settings and in doing so avoiding lugging around heavy lights.

You can check out some of our work here.

While we can’t say much now, we’ll be back in Niagara in a few weeks for a VERY cool shoot. Stay tuned.

We shot a brand film for OEC

When utility company Oakville Enterprises Corporation came to us asking for a brand film, their mandate was one you don’t hear every day. They needed it to highlight all of their affiliate companies and show what they do…but also bring viewers to tears. We accepted the challenge.

The theme of the piece was “An Ode to Our Family”. In order to show what each company does in a cinematic way, we chose to focus on the people. We filmed vignettes of each company at work and took stunning slow-motion portraits of each person.

This shoot was exciting for a number of reasons. It was three days long and took us to a number of job sites throughout the Toronto and Oakville area. We had a pretty large crew with us and got to bring out some fun equipment including a Dana dolly and a drone. We shot everything off-speed in 4K on the Arri Amira, and we couldn’t be happier with the way the footage turned out.

The highlight was our last day. Our call time was 4am, but it was well worth it to catch an epic sunrise over the Oakville waterfront. Whenever we can, we try to incorporate either a sunrise or a sunset into our shoots. That magic hour light just before the sunset and after the sunrise adds a whole other dimension of beauty and tones to the footage. Another perk about early morning shoots is that the sunrise shot is almost always followed by a greasy breakfast at a local diner. Not a bad way to start the day.

We are very proud of the final film. Once it had gone through colour grading and sound mixing, we knew we had a beautiful looking piece to take away from this shoot.

An ungraded still from our OEC brand film A graded still from our brand film for OEC

We hung out with KUBRA

Tech company KUBRA has been a great client of ours for years now, so we always love a chance to meet up and hang out with them for a day. The last time we worked with Kubra, we were in New Orleans filming their iConnect conference.

This time around, we visited their Mississauga offices to ask employees what their brand positioning “Experience Better” meant to them.

Filming with KUBRA is always fun because they’ve built such a cool company culture. It makes your day better when you know the people really love working at the place you’re filming. It puts the crew at ease knowing we aren’t being a burden in their space and makes for an overall more fun day.

We shot this project on the FS5 and the Sony A7S, plus a few lights to keep it looking polished.

We moved into a model home with Tarion

Filming for Tarion Home Warranty in Brampton

Tarion, a new-home warranty provider, came to us because they needed an explainer video about the 10 steps of conciliation of issues in a new build. They’d gone the route of animation for their past few videos, but were ready to come back to live action.

We wanted the process to have a bit of a story, so we casted a few real people and created a short vignette for each step. Tarion provided us with a model home to film in just outside of Toronto.

It was a beautiful space with lots of natural light, which gave us flexibility. We had to change setups quite often, so being able to go easy on the lighting was super important to flow of day.

They say make hay while the sun shines, we say make video. There’s no better day than a day spent shooting outdoors in the sunshine.

That being said, with Fall just around the corner, we can’t wait to get outside and shoot some of the beautiful Autumn foliage. And, in perfect timing, our brand new DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone just arrived in the mail. Yes, it’s going to be a fun Fall.

Stay tuned for the details of our first flight with the newest addition to the SVG camera family.

Madelaine Sawyers

Author Madelaine Sawyers

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